Arsenal Takeover? by SB
The richest businessman of Africa wants to purchase Arsenal football club. Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian billionaire who is best known for being 67th on the Forbes rich list. He now wants to top it by pulling a coup of buying Arsenal.
Dangote is a self-professed fan of the Gunners. He has an estimated wealth of £11.5 billion and confesses to being a supporter since the 1980s. He believes that building an oil refinery in his homeland of Nigeria will get him enough financial muscle to oversee a takeover.
It is not the first time that Dangote is interested in buying a stake at the club. Back in 2011, he was rumored to be interested in purchasing the 15.9% stake sold at £123 million by Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. That was eventually purchased by the American Stan Kroenke.
Incidentally, Kroenke is the club’s majority shareholder, owning 66.64% of the club’s parent company Arsenal Holdings plc. Alisher Usmanov, the charismatic Russian-Uzbek also owns 29.11% of the club.
Dangote backtracked on his interest in 2011 because he thought that the prices were too steep. Also, he wanted to finalize his industrialization plans in Nigeria. With everything else settled, Dangote now wants to grab a stake at his favorite club.
The wealthy Nigerian believes that the club requires new direction, strategically. He thinks that a different ownership will help the club get back to glory days and be more successful on the pitch.
How will it change Arsenal?
It is no secret that Arsenal fell behind the neo-rich clubs in England and Europe. Arsene Wenger is well-known for his criticism of running the clubs commercially. He never wants to splash cash for the sake of spending it.
But, clubs around Arsenal are not shy of splashing the cash. Chelsea started the trend with Roman Abramovich not getting tired of spending money on players to win success. Manchester City then joined the league with the oil-rich Sheik Mansour buying success for the club. Manchester United too falls in this league but their financial muscle comes more from their marketing wings.
Arsenal fans have for long wanted their club to give their richer counterparts a run for their money. There were many instances where Arsenal was jostled in the transfer market and priced out of deals.
A wealthy investor is never an answer to all the financial problems of the transfer market. Wenger believes in prudent usage of funds and has built the club around the same principle. There is no reason to believe that the impending arrival of Dangote will change anything drastically….